Roy Haggerty

Words from the Dean

October 2018

Dear colleagues,

At one time or another many of us may have experienced sexual harassment, other sexual misconduct, or even more pervasive gender harassment. In our cultural conversation, we hear examples of these every day, some in academia. A recent report by the National Academies, Sexual Harassment of Women: Climate, Culture, and Consequences in Academic Science, Engineering, and Medicine,offers some recommendations that I am looking at; if you have the time to read the summary chapter, I would appreciate hearing your thoughts on them.

This is a topic I feel strongly about and urge everyone—graduate students, faculty, the dean’s office staff—to attend one of the four Sexual Misconduct training sessions that the College is hosting over the next two months. I recognize that the training alone is not enough to prevent sexual and gender harassment, but training teaches us what the issues are, where to report them and steps we can all take to help prevent them. My goal is to create a safe environment for everyone, and training is the first step. 

This training can help all of us become more aware of sexual misconduct. For example, we can all become more aware of microaggressions, which are subtle, offensive comments and actions directed at marginalized groups, especially women. I want to create a safe and supportive environment in our College that is equally accessible to everyone and where no one feels objectified, invisible, inferior or isolated. I will not tolerate an oppressive climate, and I believe we can all do better, including myself. Science is a place for equity and inclusion.

I am attending the training, and I look forward to seeing you there. Please register for one of the four sessions.

I do understand that for those who have experienced sexual misconduct, trainings can provoke post-traumatic stress. It is not my intention to cause undue harm and make the situation worse for those individuals. Therefore, while the training is strongly encouraged, it is not required.

On a related note, the National Academies is webcasting the first half of a one-day conference entitled “Together we can do better: A convening of leaders in academia to prevent sexual harassment” on November 9 from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. EST. I realize this is pretty early in the PST zone but the agenda looks excellent. Watch for more news about a venue where we can watch the broadcast together as a group. Alternatively, feel free to tune in individually.

As we look ahead to a year of innovation in research, I encourage faculty (tenured and tenure-track) to apply for a Science Research and Innovation Seed II (SciRIS II) Award. The awards fund individual faculty proposals that identify transformative research opportunities, establish or augment research relationships with external partners, cultivate ideas that strengthen the research and innovation enterprise at OSU. The deadline is coming up on December 15.  

Roy Haggerty
Dean, College of Science

All the news that's fit to print.

Please submit news, honors and awards, discoveries, events, research funding, student news, alumni updates and more. Just use this handy ONLINE FORM by the 10th of each month.

Research Highlights

Read more of the most recent research happening on our iMPACT blog site.

Mathematician biologist Ben Dalziel's research on patterns of flu outbreaks in cities which revealed that the more people a city has and the more organized its residents' movement patterns, the longer its flu season is apt to last. The findings were published in the journal Science and have attracted national media attention.

Biochemistry professor and Associate Dean Matt Andrews' cutting-edge research on using the science of hibernation in squirrels to keep alive human organs and tissues of trauma patients during severe blood loss was covered in Neo.Life.

Thomas Sharpton's paper, "The Influence of Ethnicity and Geography on Human Gut Microbiome Composition," was published in Nature Medicine. He found that the taxonomic composition of the gut microbiome associates with patient ethnicity and geographic location; the association impacts the development of microbiome-based applications for personalized medicine.

Research Funding

Ecologist Francis Chan is leading a  new $1.1 million grant from the NOAA Coastal Hypoxia Research Program. The grant will enable Oregon State scientists to work with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, crabbers and other fishermen to map and track the extent of the hypoxia, identify "hotspots" and potential refuge areas as well as to develop predictive models of when and where low oxygen will occur and affect Dungeness crabs and fish.

Microbiologist Ryan Mueller is co-PI on a $725K grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Sea Grant program to use probiotics to improve the growth and health of oyster larvae and spat

Physicists Elizabeth Gire (PI), Corinne Manogue, David Roundy and mathematician Tevian Dray received a one-year $299K NSF award for their project "Paradigms in Physics: Representations in Quantum Mechanics."

David Roundy (PI) and Tevian Dray were also awarded a one-year $298K NSF grant for their project "Paradigms in Physics: Second-Generation Dissemination Strategies."

Biochemistry Professor Kevin Ahern's $150K NSF grant to support the Oregon State University STEM Leaders Program was renewed through 2020.

Marine biologist Jane Lubchenco received $115K grant for her project "Research services with the Sustainable Ocean Initiative's, High Level Panel on Building a Sustainable Ocean Economy" from the World Resources Institute.

Entomologist Christopher Marshall was awarded $12K by the U.S. Department of the Interior's National Park Service for his project "Lepidoptera of Crater Lake National Park."

Mathematician Vrushali Bokil awarded $11K for her project "Mathematical Epidemiology of Viruses Co-Infecting Plants – Modeling, Analysis and Optimal Control Strategies" by the FACE Foundation.

Proposal Support

Funding opportunities can be found on ECOS. To access a suite of tools and resources available to faculty, visit the College of Science Proposal Support webpage.

Global Honors

Congratulations to physicist Matthew Graham, who was selected to serve as an Optical Society of America (OSA) Ambassador for 2019. This lifetime distinction recognizes OSA Early Career Professionals who are leaders in the optics and photonics community. Graham joins seven other early career professional researchers around the world to officially represent the OSA for 2019 as one of their Global Ambassadors. OSA Ambassadors provide career advice, technical knowledge and mentorship through serving as a traveling lecturer for chapters and sections, supporting professional development events at OSA meetings and engaging with their communities. 

National Honors

David Craig, a physics professor of practice, will lead a five-year, multimillion dollar effort at the American Physical Society to help physics departments at colleges and universities nationwide improve their programs and instruction. NSF has awarded $2.2 million to the project, which aims to address a variety of challenges facing one of the least diverse of all of the STEM disciplines.

University Honors

The College of Science celebrated research and administrative excellence at its 2018 Fall Faculty and Staff Awards ceremony and reception on October 11. Physicist Ethan Minot received the Milton Harris Award in Basic Research. Chemist May Nyman was honored with the F.A. Gilfillan Award for Distinguished Scholarship in Science. Mathematician Elise Lockwood received the Dean's Early Career Impact Award for exceptional achievement in research and education by an early career faculty member. 

In addition, four research teams won the Science Research and Innovation Seed Program Award (formerly known as the College of Science Impact Award) for projects that contribute to human health, drug development and marine science. The SciRis Award carries an amount of $10K for each team. Congratulations to David Koslicki and Tom Sharpton; Sandra Loesgen and Jim Strother; Francis Chan and Steve Giovannoni; and Maude David and Kenton Hokanson.

Congratulations to Paula Christie who received the Gladys Valley Award for Exemplary Administrative Support and Jie Zhang who won the 2018 Outstanding Faculty Research Assistant Award, both in the Chemistry Department. And kudos to Susan Machacek on receiving this year's ASBC Exemplary Service Award.

Student Honors

Chemistry graduate student Ana Arteaga received the 2018 SACNAS Student Presentation Award in the field of inorganic chemistry, awarded to the top nine percent of participants, for her research talk delivered at 2018 SACNAS: The National Diversity in STEM Conference in San Antonio, Texas.

The College of Science congratulates microbiology doctoral candidate Courtney Rae Armour, the first graduate student to receive the Larry W. Martin & Joyce B. O'Neill Endowed Fellowship. The award recognizes students who demonstrate high achievement and whose research involves computational modeling.

Microbiology senior Julianna Donohoe is one of 13 Gilman Scholars from OSU chosen to study or intern abroad in summer and fall 2018. Donohoe was a medical research intern at the Cajal Institute, a leading research center in neuroscience in Madrid, Spain.

NASA image courtesy Jeff Schmaltz, LANCE/EOSDIS MODIS Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC.

CNN reports on math-biologist Ben Dalziel's new research on influenza findings published in the journal Science. Dalziel's study analyzed weekly flu data for 603 U.S. regions to show that individual cities show distinct patterns of flu transmission, with differences due to climate, population size and where people live and work.

NPR featured ecologist Francis Chan's findings on the hypoxia season in the waters of Oregon, Washington and California. "Every summer we live on the knife's edge and during many years we cross the threshold into danger – including the past two years," Chan says. "When oxygen levels get low enough, many marine organisms who are place-bound, or cannot move away rapidly enough, die of oxygen starvation."

National Geographic wrote about marine biology graduate student Katie McConnell's video footage of the decomposition of 337 whales on a remote beach in Patagonia. Thanks to her efforts, you can experience two years of baleen decay in 43 seconds, a valuable forensic record for future stranding events.

The 3D virtual microscope and online biology labs developed in collaboration between the College of Science and Ecampus received a shout out on Drexel University's website, Virtually Inspired, that showcases innovation in online teaching and course development. In an article and a video, Virtually Inspired describes how OSU solves degree completion issue for online biology students. Check it out!

A warm welcome to Cori Hall, who joined our Science Success Team from the College of Earth, Oceanic, and Atmospheric Sciences. She takes on a key new role as Student Success Advisor and will work with science students in the campus-wide STAR (Students Taking Academic Responsibility) program, which serves as a safety net to catch first-year students beginning to slip in their coursework and to steer them back on track.

Meet our class of 2022! The College of Science welcomes 744 new first-year students and 180 transfer students in fall 2018. More good news: The College is thrilled to welcome the highest ever number of high achieving students in its incoming class: 50 percent—up from 29 percent last year!

Schools, libraries, non-profits and government groups can now license a feature-length documentary, "Saving Atlantis," made by Oregon State Productions about the decline of coral reef ecosystems. The film shows coral microbiologist Rebecca Vega Thurber and other researchers who are uncovering the causes of coral decline and looking to find solutions so they don't disappear.

A very exciting opportunity for science undergraduates to take up substantive research projects with faculty partners. URSA Engage 2018-2019 begins on February 4, 2019. Encourage students to apply by the January 11 deadline. Informational workshops will be held in November.

Submit your proposal for consideration for an OSU Women's Giving Circle grant. Founded in spring 2003 by OSU alumnae and friends, the Women's Giving Circle has awarded more than $920K in grants to more than 130 projects that enhance the undergraduate experience, directly impact as many OSU students as possible, and improve student retention. Apply online by Monday, January 14, 2019, at 9 a.m. Grants will be awarded in May 2019.

We are delighted to announce that the College of Science recently launched its LinkedIn page. Find OSUScience on LinkedIn to get news and updates about the latest goings-on in science at Oregon State, and connect with an enthusiastic network of fellow scientists, students and alumni. Join our world on social media and make COS LinkedIn a place of true connection and engagement.

Discovering Venn In The Ionian by Michael Schultheis, acrylic on canvas

Upcoming events

November 3
8 a.m. - 5 p.m., Kearney Hall, Room 305
Inquiry-Based Learning Workshop: Mathematics faculty member Mary Beisiegel has organized the first Inquiry-Based Learning Traveling Workshop that will be led by three expert facilitators: Mathematicians Gulden Karakok from University of Northern Colorado, Christine Black from Central Washington University and Stephanie Salomone from University of Portland. This event is designed for graduate students, instructors and tenure-track faculty in mathematics. The workshop is the first in a series of three seminars led by leaders in the area of active learning and equitable instruction who will teach faculty practical and useful skills in mathematics and science classrooms. RSVP today.

November 5 and 19
5 - 6:30 p.m., Waldo Hall, room 140
URSA Engage Networking/Informational workshops : These workshops are designed for first- and second-year students and transfer students in their first year at OSU. Students can RSVP and attend one of URSA Engage's facilitated informational/networking workshops (not required but highly recommended).

November 15
5:30 p.m. registration, 6 p.m. reception, 6:30 p.m. ceremony
Memorial Union, Horizon Room (invited guests only)
College of Science 2018 Alumni Awards Ceremony and Dinner: The College will honor outstanding alumni and friends at its annual alumni awards celebration.

November 9 and 28; December 4 and 13
Multiple venues
Sexual Misconduct Training Sessions: The College of Science is hosting four Sexual Misconduct training sessions over the next two months for all employees in the College, including graduate students, faculty, dean's office staff and the dean. Please register to attend one of the sessions.

Recent Events

October 11
The College of Science celebrated research and administrative excellence at its 2018 Fall Faculty and Staff Awards Ceremony and reception. See Honors above.

October 25
The Science Success Center hosted its first Midterm De-Stress Fest at the Science Success Center. Students learned study and self-care strategies, and hung out with adorable and friendly Dogs! Welcome Waggers is a local nonprofit that trains therapy dogs and provides finals stress relief in Valley Library. The highly popular event also featured crafts and a delicious Nachos bar.

October 22
College of Science graduate students attended two workshops with Dr. Peter Fiske from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, "Putting your Ph.D. to work" and "The science and strategy of science communication."

October 24
The first ART:SCI Lecture "Venn pirouettes: Changing the way the world sees math and art," was presented by Michael Schultheis, a painter trained in mathematics and economics who "uses the timeless language of mathematics to explore how geometric models can be a vivid way to understand human stories." The event was jointly sponsored by the College of Science; the Departments of Mathematics, Microbiology and Physics; the School of Arts and Communication; OSU Office of Research.